Past Exhibition

  • Frank Briffa - Rebellious Spirit

    Monday 1 June 2015 to Thursday 25 June 2015
    • An exhibition of paintings by Frank Briffa, derived from the music of Charles Ives (1874-1954).

      Frank Briffa's explanation of the process and inspiration behind his work:

      "Since about 2005 my paintings have had strong links with music being based on pieces by various composers. The American composer Charles Ives has had a strong (conscious) influence on my work – probably a stronger influence than any painter. Working towards the end of the 19th century and the start of the 20th century Ives produced music using techniques that were to be adopted only later by European composers who became very famous names. These techniques included his use of polyrythms, the use of several different keys simultaneously, quartertones and note clusters. Using such techniques Ives builds up complex structures of great beauty using very diverse elements but which create an underlying unity and musical logic. It is the sheer complexity and multilayered nature of the music that, I think, most attracts me and suggests possibilities for making paintings. Ives was a real pioneer, ahead of his time producing music of great substance and originality – that doesn’t happen very often.

      "I am particularly excited about this show because the composer Michael Bridgewater from the Music Department of Newcastle University is writing a new piece of music which incorporates some Ives material to accompany the paintings."

    • About the Artist:

      "I am a painter based in Newcastle and have been painting full time since I retired from my post as a college lecturer in 1998. I have exhibited widely in the region and beyond exhibiting in galleries in Yorkshire, Scotland and London. My commissions have included a large painting (14ft x 6ft) for premises in Canary Wharf, London, and a painting for the reception area of True Potential, Newcastle. I have also acted as colour advisor for The Whitley Bay Playhouse, and for a new music venue, The Globe, in Newcastle.

      "I also have work abroad, including an exterior mural for a house near Malaga, Spain which was featured in a “Grand Designs” programme – you can get a quick glimpse of it if you look carefully (there are also some paintings inside the house)."

      • Frank Briffa